FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

“Water, water everywhere; but nary drop to drink.”  

Those words are from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Coleridge.  On Saturday last, March 19, 2016, I heard a missionary to Liberia speak.  He told how there was an abundance of water in Liberia; but virtually none that was safe to drink.  Immediately I thought that possibly, if I commit myself to the task, with the help of others who have worked in water treatment, we might be able to help this country (that was originally a colony of the USA), have safe water.  This would eliminate most of the physical diseases that plague the Liberian people.

Lack of water isn’t the only thing that troubles Liberia.  Although there are many Christians there, their Christianity is mixed with their old religion, and all of its bugaboos.  Ancestor worship, and belief in evil spirits are prevalent.  The people are more likely to go to a witch doctor for treatment for an illness, than they are to an educated and trained medical doctor, even if one is available.

Immediately this morning, as I meditated on these things, my thoughts went to the “Woman at the Well,” in the fourth chapter of John.  She could draw water from a well; but like the Liberian people, it wasn’t the water she needed most.  Jesus told her, speaking of the water in the well: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.  But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life.”  This most important water, the water of eternal life, is primarily what the missionaries in Liberia are trying to give the people.

How about us?  In the USA we have an abundance of both kinds of water; both the physical kind, and the spiritual.  Do we truly thank God for the abundance of clean, potable water in the United States; and, far more important and miraculous, that we can go to many different churches and here the message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?   I dare not dwell on these things any longer, without doing something about it.  My thought and hope of being mentally (educationally) and physically able to help the people of Liberia to obtain safe earthly water may be merely a grandiose dream.  If that is so (and I’m going to pray fervently about that possibility), then I’ll support the effort of others anyway I can, and invite others who may be so inclined, to do the same.

David and Gina Rawls are serving of God with the Hope 2 Liberia Mission.  They are graduates of the Great Lakes Christian College and David is a graduate of Cincinnati Bible Seminary as well.  Their address follows:

Dave and Gina Rawls, 1010 Centenial Avenue, Muncie Indiana 47303.  Phone: 765.730.3115  Email: DRawls@Hope2Liberia.org

Please pray for Dave and Gina, and for Liberia as well!

Yours for the sake of the Lord Jesus, and His wonderful Gospel.

A sinner saved by grace, Bill

 

 

 

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

THE WORDS THAT JESUS SPEAKS ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE!

THEY WERE WHEN HE LIVED ON EARTH, AND THEY ARE STILL – SPIRIT AND LIFE – NOTHING LESS THAN THAT (John 6:60-64)!

What is the problem with human beings?  Why are there divisions among us, especially among those who claim to believe in, and follow Jesus Christ?  The answer lies, I believe, in our desire to be right, to be authoritative, even above what God clearly declares in His Word.  Because of our proclivity to be right, we will sink our teeth into something, and hold on like a pit bull, often without sufficient reason, and without following reason to its logical conclusion.  Because everyone naturally wants to be right, and wants to be authoritative, we wind up with the mess that exists in the world today.  Because strong willed men and women, will just naturally exert their ideologies on those who are less strong willed; and consequently, easily led, many wind up with false gods and goddesses, and entities that claim kinship to Jesus Christ; but in reality, know nothing of the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

This is the very reason that the principal of Sola Scriptura, only Scripture, or Scripture alone is so important (2 Timothy 3:16).  The Bible is the very Word of God.  It is our only guide for faith, and the practice of our faith in Jesus Christ.  Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8).  The Holy Spirit indwells every true believer in Jesus Christ.  He is our Teacher, our Guide, and our comforter.  He is the One who convicts people of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11).

How then can we have Christian Unity, and leave behind the chaotic fiasco of “Follow the self-declared, or traditionally declared leader?”  By coming in repentance to God the Father, directly, and not through a human mediator, when the Bible says there is indeed, no Mediator between God and man but Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).  Then by coming in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, believing in your heart that He is who the Bible says He is, and confessing Him with your mouth (Romans 10:9,10).  Then, either stay where you are and proclaim the Truth of God’s Word, come what may, or find a church where His Word is faithfully proclaimed.  The Words of Jesus Christ are Truth and Life.  He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  Therefore, it makes sense that if you begin with Christ alone, as He is revealed in the Bible alone, you’ll belong to Him alone, and He to you, in a covenant that is signed and sealed with His blood; and, in union with all others who believe the Truth as revealed and declared in God’s Holy Word.  O, by the way, all such will “dwell in the house of the Lord, forever” (Psalm 23:6).

Yours, with love for the Lord Jesus and all of you, a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

 

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

GO INTO ALL THE WORLD

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

As the day of total darkness approaches (and who among those with ability to reason can deny its approach in light of the wickedness that is extant in news reports), it is urgent that the Gospel be propagated by those whom God has called to belief in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

The true gospel, the Gospel of Grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as He is revealed in Holy Scripture (Acts 4:12) needs to be preached from the rooftops.  This general call to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ must be on the lips of all who know Christ, not just pastors and evangelists.  This witnessing and preaching is necessary so that God’s elect may hear and come to Him (God’s effectual call).  When the very last person who has been chosen and given by God the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ, comes by faith to Him, Christ will come, and fulfill all of the prophecy of Scripture concerning His coming and His Kingdom (Read your Bible!  It’s full of this stuff!).

Dear friends, I have wasted so much of my life on trivial things and pursuits.  For the sake of my Lord Jesus Christ, I’m determined to do this no longer.  You who know me, and have known me for a while, know indeed that I’ve not always been this way.  On November 7, 2015, I made my “Calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10).

In light of the above, I’m making my “Christian Manifesto” known.  What things were once allowable in my life, may not be allowable now.  Some of you may think I’ve gone “over the edge.”  I don’t care.  Every Lord’s day, I hear a godly man (Pastor Dale Ritts, pastor of the Oran Christian Church where I attend, preach “Christ, and Him crucified.”  God’s call, through Pastor Dale, to a life of faith, love, and justice has reached this hardened heart, and hopefully, made it pliable for Christ’s sake.  “I have decided to follow Jesus,” not in word only, but in truth.  The  verity of my manifesto comes from this Scripture, Psalm 9:1,2:  I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart.  I will tell of all your marvelous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in Thee.  I will sing praises to your name, O Most High!.

Yours in Jesus’ Name,

A sinner save by grace,

Bill Biza

GO INTO ALL THE WORLD

FORGET THE PAST – GOOD OR BAD!

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

Philippians 3:3-14: In this particular scripture, Paul is talking about real Jews and real circumcision –

Not circumcision in the flesh, but that in the heart.  Those who are children of the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 15:1-6), aren’t necessarily Jews by birth, but are also from all the gentile nations as well.  All to whom it has been given to come in repentance to God the Father, and by faith to Jesus Christ; i.e., those who have been “chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before him.”   Those whom “in love he has predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:4,5).  We who believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, both Jews and Gentiles, are the children of the promise given to Abraham.

In the scripture at the top of this page, from Philippians 3, Paul says, in effect: “Don’t brag about this!  If you do think you have reason to brag, I have more reason!  If confidence in the flesh were a valid thing, why, I’ve got more reason to have such confidence than all of the rest of you put together!  I was a Pharisee; I persecuted the Church; I kept the law better than anybody!  But, when Christ found me, and I believed in and received him, I counted all my past as nothing!  In fact, I consider all of those things as worthless to me, now that I know Christ. Indeed, all of those things are lost to me, and I count them as nothing but dung.  Nothing matters to me now, but Jesus Christ.  I am in him, and my righteousness is not of the law, as I once erroneously believed it was; but my righteousness is of God by faith in Jesus Christ.  O, that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death” (From Philippians 3:6 and following).

Sisters and brothers in Christ, that is exactly the way we should consider Jesus Christ at this time.  In Him, we have everything.  Putting the past behind, and looking ahead with renewed faith in Almighty God, and a belief that He can do anything, is what the church needs today.  As my pastor, Dale Ritts says: ” We don’t believe in the work of the Holy Spirit as we should.”  Now Dale’s not speaking of an inordinate foolish belief like you see displayed on television; but a Biblical belief that God can and will do what is needed to revive the churches today.  That He will glorify Himself in the salvation and sanctification of precious souls.  O, that we may truly know Christ; and the power of His resurrection!.

Yours, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

FORGET THE PAST – GOOD OR BAD!

YOU BURIED IT! NOW DIG IT UP!

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

 Luke 25:24-26:  “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew thee, that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.’  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 

Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the changers, and then at my coming I should have received mine with usury.”

Recently, I read this parable of the talents, and was greatly convicted, because this is a pretty accurate picture of what I’ve done with my life.  Instead of pouring my life and the talents God has given me into my Lord Jesus Christ and His Marvelous Gospel, I’ve literally buried them and gone my (not so) merry way.  My notion, is that many of you have done the same thing.

However, our Lord is a merciful Lord!  He’ll give us, as long as we’re still breathing, and have a mind to do so, an opportunity to dig our (his) talent up, and put it to use for His glory.  Our God, is a God, not only of second chances, but perhaps of many chances.  He is a forgiving God, and it’s His forgiveness that He wants us to convey to others in “the ministry of reconciliation,” that He has given us (2 Corinthians 5:18).

So:  You, like me, may have buried your talent.  Go dig it up!  I have; and I’d like you to join me in renewed effort to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.  Now, perhaps you’ve been doing this all along and are satisfied that you’ve done so perfectly.  If that is true, I must confess that I envy you.  That is not however, true of me.  I need a fresh breath of the Holy Spirit, and that’s what I’ve asked God to give me.  Then I can sing with zeal and in truth:  “I’ll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, o’er mountain or plain, or sea.  I’ll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord.  I’ll be what you want me to be” (Carrie E. Rounsefell).

Yours for Christ and the Gospel, a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

 

 

YOU BURIED IT! NOW DIG IT UP!

BLESSED ARE THESE: MATT. 5:3-11

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

“BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT FOR THEIR’S IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”  

So the Lord Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount.  But who are the “poor in spirit?”  The poor in spirit are those who acknowledge their sin before God, and call on Christ as Savior and Lord.  You may think that simplifies things too much; but God always makes things simple for us.  It is we who are hard on one another.

Knowing that we are spiritually bankrupt; and, subsequently learning to fear God, is the “Beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).  When we are born again, we come in “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).  Being “poor in spirit,” is what enables us to acknowledge the grace of God.  It is what causes us to realize, as our spiritual poverty is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through the hearing of God’s Word, that we must call on the name of the Lord Jesus for salvation (Romans 10:9-17).  All of this is by grace, every bit of it.  It’s “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5,6).

As God makes clear through His Holy Word, the Bible:  Salvation is by grace alone; through faith alone; in Jesus Christ alone; as He is revealed in Holy Scripture alone; to the praise and glory of God alone.  There is salvation in no one or nothing else.  Works can’t save us; attending church can’t save us; sacraments can’t save us.  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“The Spirit and the bride say, Come.  And let him who is athirst, come.  And, whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).  This is the way of salvation of which the “Poor in spirit” take hold!

With love in the Lord Jesus, from a sinner saved by grace,

Bill

BLESSED ARE THESE: MATT. 5:3-11